This is a nice short route and the obvious one to take if you're travelling on foot between Kentmere and Sadgill. Today the route is only used by us modern walkers and local farmers, but this seemingly insignificant crossing was once part of the vital trade route linking the west coast of Cumberland with the main trade route running down this side of England from Scotland through the major cities and as far as London. At their busiest, the drovers took herds of cattle numbering in the hundreds and sheep in their thousands across this route travelling about 10 miles a day.
The Kendal court records of 1717 show that this was a busy crossing point when the local people put forward a petition for a bridge to be built at Sadgill.
Part of the petition says:-
"the great road and public highway... very much used by travellers, drovers and others having occasion frequently to pass and repass to and from the said markets with cattle and other goods, in which public highway there is a water or rivulet called Sadgill which by the violent and sudden rain there is often raised and overflows its banks so that no passenger may dare venture to cross the same and many times travellers are forced to stay two or three days before they dare venture to cross and are often in danger with their cattle of being lost in crossing the said water to the great prejudice of trade, and pray that a bridge may be erected over the same."
Considering the route had been used for centuries, my modern mindset finds it difficult to understand why they waited until the early 1700s before building a bridge.